NFG Season One Finals - Round Three: Kenzo vs Junko

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Description: Kenzo the lighting ninja takes on the fiery miko, Junko in the final tournament of the NFG. The violence intensifies and the action heats up in this match to see who should move on.

There have been some adjustments made to the seating in the arena after the Junko vs. Coco fight. See through forcefields have been erected around the ring right in front of the barriers for seating with three rows back kept clear in case of temperature changes from intense heat. Beyond the empty rows there are numerous spectators holding up signs.

Then the music plays. It's not Dujeous' First/Last seeing as it didn't match the sentiment that Kenzo was going for in this particular round. Instead, it's Imagine Dragons' Thunder. As he walks out to the lyrics, head bobbing and waving to the crowd. As he rolls into the ring, it gets to the pre-chorus and then he does a simple dance in the ring. Honestly, it would be more accurate to describe it as a bounce that just happens to be on beat than actual dancing. Then the chorus comes along and at each pause he throws out three punches in time with the drums with electricity lancing out from his fists with each punch.

After the chorus, the music fades out and the nin-gineer moves to his corner to wait for his opponent to arrive.

As it turns out, Junko has been waiting at the arena for quite some time now. For most of the day, in fact, she's been sitting backstage, alone and silent in one of the forgotten corners hidden from sight by piles of stage equipment and stacked storage crates. Though the bustle of various bodies moving about busily preparing for the day's matches had steadily increased throughout the morning, the young miko had gone completely unnoticed save for the odd complaint about the air conditioning being unusually warm that day.

Following her disastrous match with Coco and the drama that came along with it, Junko had been left to her own devices for several days. Rei Hazuki's brief invasion into her self-imposed seclusion had resulted in nothing but more emotional turmoil. He had come to reprimand her yet again, to tell her to stop worrying about blame and focus on consequences. But the consequences of her choices were always the same and ultimately she found little solace in his attempt to snap her out of the dark mire of her self-loathing with parental lectures.

If anything, she only got worse in the aftermath of that encounter. The pointed inquisition into her motives had forced her to reveal a dark truth to the xian, one that she had been desperately trying to keep buried as far in her subconscious skeleton closet as possible. By acknowledging that truth she had also been forced to face another unpleasant reality - that there was no one left willing to believe that she had the potential to be anything other than the puppet of a monster.

Chevy was the one person who had been willing to give her a chance. And even she was forced to admit that the miko was little more than a walking disaster. That it had been the right idea all along for her to just find the darkest most secluded hole available and bury herself in it. Junko couldn't hurt anyone but herself as long as she wasn't around others. And who cares about her? No one, that's who.

Unfortunately, simply dropping out of the tournament and wandering off into the wilderness wasn't a viable option. She still had obligations to keep, promises that had been made in good faith. Suzaku might have turned her into a monster but she still had at least a little sliver of humanity left to hold onto - honor.

Yet even that sounded hollow to her these days. For the sake of 'honor' she had inflicted torment and pain on complete strangers. She couldn't see the damage that had been done to Coco by the hellfire of her demonic passenger but the unhinged reaction of the girl and the concern of those around her had been enough to know it was bad. Not fatal, perhaps, but sometimes the worst fate isn't death. She knows that all too well.

As the appointed hour of her own match with another stranger drew near she could sense the panic starting to build in the worker bees around her. In all of her previous fights there had been someone responsible to make sure she reached the proper place in a timely fashion. Now it was mere minutes away and there was no sign of the young firecaller. The din of activity and conversation turned to an almost manic buzz of commotion as her opponent's chosen music started to blare over the speakers.

Junko remained silent for nearly a full minute after the introduction died down, staring pointedly at the ground in front of her. If she simply ignored her curtain call, resisted the urge to indulge the kami's lust for destruction and battle, perhaps she could spare another soul the pain of being kissed by those cursed flames. It was a futile effort, she knew, but even that token gesture gave her a small feeling of being in control for even a brief few moments. Illusions and lies were all she had left to take solace in.

When she could delude herself no longer, the miko pushed to her feet and stalked out into the open. Half a dozen orange blobs of heat went silent and still around the backstage as she emerged like some kind of a ghost from behind the palettes. Junko paused at the center of the room, her gaze focused on the closed curtain separating her from the walkway that would take her back out into that arena once again.

"Oh my god..."

The tense silence shatters as the words slip out from one of the interns, their eyes wide at the sight before them. In the aftermath of her argument with Rei, the priestess had remained in the fire-blasted basement, too afraid to show her face in the Thunderdome again. Even had she thought to bring a change of clothes with her, they would have perished in the fiery outburst of her temper. After several days alone in that ash-laden cement room Junko looks like death.

Soot covers her body from head to toe in an uneven layer of smeared black grime. Her face, her torso, her arms, even her snowy white hair is caked in so much filth it looks like she just finished cleaning an 18th century chimney. With her shirt having been burnt to cinders, only a dirty sarashi remains wrapped around her chest, though it too looks as if it might be holding only by virtue of having been wrapped around her so many times that the flames burnt it to her skin instead of turning it to ash.

By stark contrast, the dozens of warding seals plastered to her arms and torso are almost unnaturally clean. The white of the paper stands out against her soot-laden skin as if only freshly applied with naught but a few scorched edges to indicate that they were even in the same room as the miko. The kanji at the center of each glows a brilliant neon red, scarlet power radiating from them in silent warning.

When several seconds pass and no one else is able to say anything save quietly muttered curses, the miko steps forward and pushes the curtain aside.

Junko makes it nearly halfway down the catwalk before the synth J-pop music starts to play, the announcers either caught off guard without any one to warn them of her arrival or too stunned to remember their jobs. The girl strides slowly down the lengthy raised bridge until she reaches the edge of the arena. Her gaze drops briefly as she comes into contact with the turnbuckle and the elastic ropes attached to it. In her match against Coco, she had been forced to humiliatingly try to figure out how the protective measure worked and stumble her way into the fighting pit.

Not this time.

Taking the top rope in her fingers, Junko clenches them into the soft fabric and calls forth fire. Scarlet flames burst to life around her hand and the acrid smell of burning nylon fills the air as she slowly closes her fist around the steadily melting barrier. With a sharp snap, the rope shears off at the end and whips sideways into the opposite side of the arena. One by one, she repeats the gesture, her burning gaze directed at the irritating obstacle as she burns her way through. Only when the last of the ropes has been removed from her path does the girl stalk her way towards the center of the platform, turning her soot-streaked face up to regard the orange blob of her opponent with a grim expression.

Yes she missed Kenzo and Ayala match. She didn't want to cheer for one or the other in this case. So she stayed away.

Now she had to be there with the crowd. Kenzo fighting Junko, knowing what happened with Coco. Yes, she wouldn't miss it for the world. She is so focused on this that she isn't even worrying about her match with Hawksley. She will do her best then. So will he and whatever has to happen with happen.

Right now, she just wants Kenzo to come out of this in one piece. She will cheer for him. She does want him to win, but if he doesn't ends up in the hospital in the burn ward. She will be really happy.

When Kenzo comes out. She cheers for him, joining with some other members of the crowd. "Kick ass Kenzo. You can do it!!"

On the other hand, she can't cheer when Junko comes out. She may have had a soft spot for her after her match, but she couldn't anymore.

After that, she settles back in her seat with her Staff. She is ready to focus on the match. There is her left leg that keeps moving, making her foot tap the floor. It shows she is worried and nervous a bit.

To be fair Junko's display didn't reassure her one bit. The only thing that managed to calm her. Was the trust she has in Kenzo and his fighting abilities.

A single eyebrow rises above the combat specs on the tech ninja's face. As he watched the fire wielder make her way to the ring he doesn't know how to react to someone showing up to the ring covered in soot and seals. As for the look on his face upon seeing each of the ropes snap away, that is a bit easier to know how to react to. With a frown. Removing the ropes removes a potential movement option. He has worked with less though so it isn't the end of the world. There are still 3 sets of ropes left to work with.

No camera man in their right mind wants to be near the ring right now and so heat resistant camera drones surround the ring along cameras at fixed locations near the barrier to get a variety of angles of the action in the ring. Speaking of people not wanting to be in the ring, no referee is to be found in the ring either and has been replaced by a drone as well hovering in the center of the ring .

Kenzo steps out of his corner and gets into his stance. Sickle part held in one hand, chain held in the other spinning the weight beside him as he watches and waits. When the artificial voice of the drone tells the two fight, Kenzo's chain holding hand flicks towards the firewielder as electricity travels along the length of the chain while the weight moves towards Junko and wraps around her. With a violent pull on the chain, he yanks the woman right into a likewise electrified slash of his sickle.

COMBATSYS: Kenzo has started a fight here.

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Kenzo            0/-------/-======|

COMBATSYS: Junko has joined the fight here.

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Kenzo            0/-------/-======|-------\-------\0            Junko

COMBATSYS: Junko endures Kenzo's Lightning Snare.

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Kenzo            1/----===/=======|==-----\-------\0            Junko

The ambient temperature quickly climbs as the miko takes her place at the center of the arena, scarlet flame dancing merrily around her small hand. The skin starts to blacken and burn from exposure to the withering power but beneath the layer of caked-on ash it's hard to notice without looking closely. The smell of burning human flesh, on the other hand, is quite distinct.

Junko waits quietly while Kenzo takes his place. She hadn't been planning on saying much if anything before the fight. There isn't any point in pleasantries or pre-emptive apologies any more. Taking the time to warn Coco ahead of time hadn't done anything to spare the diva the fate that awaited her. And, after the irritating visit from her 'mentor', she is distinctly not in the mood for any more talking. There's only one reason for her to be here and it's to get this confrontation over with.

Fortunately, her opponent seems to be of like mind. Whether he's just a naturally taciturn man or aware of the fruitlessness of trying to make conversation with the monster in front of him, the match starts off with nary a word spoken. Fine by her.

As seems to be a running theme in this competition, her foe fights not with fists but some sort of weapon. As always, her blindness leaves her unaware of what to expect until the first blow is struck. Seeing Kenzo's arm move, she lifts one of her own up in a vague defensive gesture, not sure where the danger will come from or what shape it will take. The chain easily ensnares her around the wrist and with a sharp tug the slender girl finds herself stumbling haplessly forward.

Her jaw clenches as white hot pain lances through her nerves, electricity dancing across the surface of her skin in crackling bolts. The sickle carves into the girl as she attempts to regain her footing but she turns to the side at the last moment and the blade traces a thin line across her bicep instead of striking her in the vitals. Blood sprays across the cold metal and spills down her arm, crimson and black mixing on her pale skin.

However, despite being caught off guard, the miko recovers remarkably quickly. Her feet spread into a wide stance as she whirls around, digging her bare heel into the surface of the padded mat. With a snarl of pain and fury, Junko lunges straight at the engineer, using the chain connecting her to his weapon to yank herself back at him with even greater ferocity.

Scarlet flame blossoms around her hands as she slams them forward in tandem, attempting to smash the flat of her palms against his torso like a battering ram. The impact would bring with it a thunderous explosion, fire and force erupting directly into his body - or failing that, into the air he used to occupy with equally explosive results.

COMBATSYS: Junko successfully hits Kenzo with Rengoku Sougekishou.
- Power hit! -

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Kenzo            1/----===/=======|=====--\-------\0            Junko

When Junko lunges at him, Kenzo attempts to play it safe by trying to redirect the palms above him as he ducks low to send the force of both the explosion and the tandem palm strikes up and over him as he lets the chain go slack to allow to him to release her from the chain so he can give himself more options. Upon impact, Kenzo gets knocked backwards flying backwards into one of the remaining ropes before rebounding and ending up in a roll that puts him in a less than ideal location of right where he was before she sent him flying in the first place.

Kenzo gets back to his feet quickly though it causes him to hiss in pain. He'd rather not remain in a vulnerable position against someone who has a history of leaving locations and people wrecked.

In a blink of an eye, the kusari-gama is replaced with his closed war fan as he sends it and the electricity running through it towards her torso before flicking it open.

COMBATSYS: Junko blocks Kenzo's Lightning Ward.

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Kenzo            1/---====/=======|======-\-------\0            Junko

A surge of dark satisfaction floods through the miko's body as she makes direct contact with her target. Deadly flame erupts forth in a violent blast that sends the engineer flying backwards, scorching both Kenzo and his attacker as the corrupted power hungrily devours everything it can touch.

Unlike Junko, however, her opponent isn't likely to be used to having their flesh flash-cooked like a piece of raw steak hitting a grill.The pain and fear of being burned is a powerful deterrent; even mindless animals fear fire. Few people she has ever met were willing to test their luck casually against someone who's very essence is bonded with a being of eternal flame. Kenzo might not be aware of the particulars of her possession but he doesn't need to be to know that letting her get ahold of him is going to prove extremely unpleasant.

To her amusement, the ropes on the other side of the arena prove to her benefit for once. The warm blob of orange that is her opponent strikes the far barrier and then comes stumbling back, unable to keep from being delivered right back to her feet. The swift attempt to dissuade her from taking advantage of that unfortunate outcome is met with another defensive gesture. Junko's forearm, still cramped and sore from being electrified, intercepts the fan and absorbs the blow meant for her slender torso. Fresh pain floods her arm again but she quickly pushes the weapon aside before it can discharge more than a few moments of electrified punishment into her flesh.

In her current mood, little effort is made by Junko to restrain her temper. Her lip peels back in an animalistic snarl as she takes a step forward, closing the gap between herself and the ninja-neer. The girl's unharmed arm cocks back as she pivots her body, twisting at the torso to wind up for a devastating haymaker. The blow comes in wild and ferocious, a flaming meteor in the shape of tiny blacked fist crashing in towards Kenzo's face. Once again scarlet flame erupts upon contact, blasting into him with enough force to hammer a dent in the side of a car and enough heat to make the air shimmer.

COMBATSYS: Kenzo fails to interrupt Guren Bakuenjin from Junko with Whirling Chain Blitz ES.

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Kenzo            1/----===/=======|=======\=------\1            Junko

Kenzo notes the amusement on the face of the posessed miko and it doesn't bode well for ninja. While Junko is taking a step forward the fan is swapped out allowing Kenzo to bring the kusari-gama back into play. Even as he steps back to give himself room to operate.

He can see the data indicating all the damage she's doing to herself to get at him. He can see the telegraphed openings that the haymaker is giving him practically screaming at him take advantage of it. The chain crackles with electricity as he swings the weight for her head. He's counting on his timing to be good enough that he can connect first and throw off her attack. His technique and strategy are sound but his timing is off by a fraction of a second, making him as vulnerable to her as he saw in her.

Kenzo finds his body getting sent to the ropes once more before stumbling off, slightly woozy due to getting rocked by the fiery rage filled punch.

She observes the fight with all her senses she can use. She is at the edge of her seat. She uses her breathing to remain as calm as she can, but her mind keeps trying to put scenarios where Kenzo gets hurt like Coco.

Truth be told, it seems to still be anybody's game at this point, or is it? Yet, she manages to wince with the bad hits he takes.

It does reassure her that he plans things. So, hopefully, he did plan for the explosive energy Junko brings to the ring.

She keeps her staff near her, and at that moment she squeezes it. There is a bit of a breeze around her, circling very lightly. It stays localized to her. She knows she won't be able to really be fine until at least this whole match is done.

She still tries to send good and positive thoughts to Kenzo. Right now, it's the best she can do. She also yells, "Come on, Kenzo! I believe in you!" But with how loud the spectators are, she isn't sure he hears her. Besides, she doesn't expect a reaction.

Impact brings with it another thunderous blast. Pain tears at her hand, flame and force rippling down her arm hard enough to rattle her bones and sear her flesh. Wielding the corrupted flames hurts her almost as much as it hurts her opponent.

But she knows that the agony is temporary, the burns fleeting. Her flesh will mend, her bones knit back together. No matter what harm she inflicts upon herself or what havoc the strange electric weapons of her opponent wreck upon her body, within a day or two it will be as if nothing happened. That knowledge allows the miko to fight with a ferociousness and fearlessness that most people cannot match. Being certain that she can endure any hardship and walk away scot free gives her a unique sort of freedom. The irony that this release from the fear of mortality comes at the hands of her tormentor is something that she doesn't think about too hard in this moment.

Seeing as her victim doesn't conveniently come bouncing back to her this time, Junko decides to take a different approach. Her hands come together down at her waist, cupping around an empty space as if cradling some invisible ball. A moment later a brilliant neon red spark flares to life between her palms, lances of scarlet power shining between her loosely splayed fingers. Flame engulfs her hands and rushes in to feed the seed of gleaming energy which steadily grows in size until it completely fills the empty space between her palms.

With a wordless scream of challenge, the priestess thrusts her hands forward, unleashing the pent up power in a blinding beam of raw neon heat. A scarlet lance as wide and tall as the girl herself rips across the arena, melting the floor into a trench of molten plastic and flaming wood as it travels towards its target. The beam cannon engulfs the space that Kenzo occupies, blasting through and then past him into the shimmering force fields meant to contain exactly these sorts of wanton displays.

Fortunately, the crowd should be safe this time. Whether or not the same is true of her opponent is yet to be seen.

COMBATSYS: Kenzo dodges Junko's Shakkahou.

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Kenzo            1/----===/=======|=======\==-----\1            Junko

The ninja ends up getting use of the ropes before its destruction. As the corrupted miko brings together her hands in preparation to bring forth the mighty ball of fire, Kenzo leaps up and back allowing himself to land on the top rope in a display, that while crowd pleasing due to agility and balance required to pull it off, serves more of a practical purpose of allowing Kenzo to go airborne. With the lance of heat being as wide and as tall as it is doesn't give Kenzo all that much room to get out of the way unless he goes over it.

The rope that Kenzo used to launch himself falls victim to the intense heat as it travels onward towards those shields protecting the spectators. Meanwhile, Kenzo finds himself right next to Junko with hopefully enough of an opportunity to slip the handle of the sickle under her arm to get inside her guard as well as allowing the ninja to lift and slam her down to the energy furrowed surface.

COMBATSYS: Junko fails to interrupt Quick Throw from Kenzo with Hou-ou Shoten Ha.

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Kenzo            1/--=====/=======|=======\====---\1            Junko

The beam of coruscating energy rips through ropes just as Kenzo takes to the air, melting the barrier in half. The red-hot remains snap violently in opposite directions flailing like wild snakes for several seconds. Brilliant supernatural power collides with technological energy as the attack hammers into the shield creating a dazzling display of interweaving colors as the two forces struggle for dominance. In the end the defensive bulwark holds against the onslaught and the crowd on the other side of it takes a collective sigh of relief.

For a few moments the ninja-neer's acrobatic evasion sees him lost to Junko's heat based sight, his own meager body heat blotted out by the intensity of her own power. When she realizes that he's made an aggressive move to re-engage, the girl's eyes widen in surprise and she turns to meet his sneaky assault with one of her own.

The miko's fist, now blackened and smoking from channeling that much raw power, pulls in tight at her side as she prepares to unleash another violent burst of flame. But her opponent proves a little too quick. The sickle slips underneath her arm as she brings it down, providing him the perfect place to hook the blade. Junko lets out a stifled grunt of pain as her entire body is whipped up and over sending her crashing haphazardly into the still glowing embers of her own attack.

Kenzo breathes a sigh of relief of his own as the combat specs he was wearing picked up rising temperature from her hand. He oddly enough doesn't press the advantage. Or rather he doesn't press advantage right away. Instead he does something that wrestling fans might call running the ropes where he darts to one of the remaining sets of ropes and just before getting to it reaches out to grab it with one hand, pivots and leans back against it before rebounding off of it.

Kenzo's rope running has a bit of a ninja twist to it however as once he releases the rope, he suddenly goes from the ropes to right next to Junko with a suddeness that could potentially be considered horrifying if experiencing it up close and personal. He then slashes across her stomach.

Upon completing the slash, Kenzo drops into a roll allowing himself to reposition himself.

COMBATSYS: Kenzo successfully hits Junko with Flicker Edge.

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Kenzo            1/=======/=======|=======\======-\1            Junko

Given a few moments to recover from being flung to the ground, Junko grits her teeth and pushes herself up on to one knee. The use of electricity is a new form of threat for the miko to face and it's proven surprisingly effective at sapping her strength. Her left arm is completely numb and responding to her mental commands only with sluggish reluctance. On the upside, that means she can't feel the usual agony of having fried her own hand into a lump of charcoal. But the reduced effectiveness of her body is of far more importance to her than avoiding a little pain.

Seeing her opponent flinging himself into the distance, it doesn't take much creativity for her to work out his intentions. Either he's running away to set himself up for a long ranged attack or he plans to use the springiness of the remaining ropes to act as a propellant to launch a rapid attack.

While her deductions prove correct, the sheer speed of the sudden movement in her direction far exceeds her weary body's ability to react to. Junko takes the slash full in the stomach as she pushes to her feet, her exposed abdomen offering no resistance to the deadly blade as it claims another bounty of her blood. With a gasp of surprise and pain the girl staggers sideways, dropping down to one knee again.

Rage quickly floods her veins, pushing the pain aside. Molten fury swirls in her eyes as she whirls around with a scream, pushing off the ground at the same time into a wild lunge. Blackened fingers curl into grotesque claws as the girl closes the gap, the flesh melted and waxy with bits of bone protruding from the tips. She swipes her hands at Kenzo in a wide slash, attempting to hook her burnt fingers into his shoulder or neck and violently slam him onto the ground at her feet - presumably to put him in a better position for her to follow up with unpleasant things.

COMBATSYS: Kenzo interrupts Enryuzan from Junko with Shocking Ambush.

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Kenzo            0/-------/-======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>--\1            Junko

The electro-ninja was starting to see the beginnings of exhaustion starting to affect the fiery miko and he decided that this was probably the best moment for him to drag her into deep waters.

He can see the attack coming and knows that he has a decent chance of getting out of the way but he chooses to step into it because he doesn't want her to get away from him. The burning hands catch him but when she goes to slam him down, he's gone in a flash of lightning.

The nin-gineer reappears right behind Junko slipping the chain across her neck and running electricity through it as he strangles her with it like a garrote. To make it even harder to escape, he jams his knee into her back.

After he's finished electro-strangling her, he releases it and then shoves her down to the ground.

Once again the ninja proves himself worthy of the name. The miko's lunge finds brief purchase in her target's joint and she curls her claw-like fingers down as the power builds in her arms to hurl him to the floor. Instead, she's blinded by a sudden flare of heat as flesh is replaced with crackling lightning and the momentum she'd meant to impart into her vicious toss instead sees her stumbling like a fool.

She doesn't get the chance to embarrass herself by tumbling face-first onto the floor, at least, though her rescue comes at an arguably worse cost. The chain bites into the soft flesh of her neck and tightens painfully cutting off the miko's breath with a strangled gasp. Salt is poured into the wound as fresh electricity surges into the metal links which in turns seeks the path of least resistance through her.

Junko goes stiff as raw voltage tears through her, muscles seizing up with sudden painful spasms. She sputters incoherently as the surge of power courses through her brain, shattering her thoughts into a haze of chaotic white noise. The knee pressed into her back seems almost pointless as the slight girl offers effectively no resistance to the devastating sneak attack.

When the buzzing running through her head comes to a merciful end, the miko drops to the mat like a sack of rice. For several seconds tiny spasms run through her battered body as she struggles to suck in ragged breaths. Pain grips her chest like icy claws as her heart struggles to find its rhythm again and even without sight she can feel her vision swimming in the disorientation.


Yet, despite being clearly at the end of her rope, the girl refuses to give up. Her fingers clench tightly, squeezing into tiny fists in an effort to control the spasms. She grits her teeth, sucking in a sharp breath as she tries to push herself off the floor with obvious difficulty.

"Not yet..." A soft whisper, barely audible over the noise of the crowd and the buzzing in her brain. "Not... yet...!"

It's obvious that to her that she, with her body, weak and frail and mortal, is unable to grasp victory on her own. But she's not alone, is she? Not any more. Never alone, never free from that damned burning spark in her chest. She can sense the demon in there, a writhing ball of fury and malice. Its hatred is a palpable force; for her, for mankind, for all of creation.

But one thing it hates above all is being made a fool.


Junko screams the name out loud, a desperate cry for aid. She gathers up all of the hate and pain that she feels, all of the suffering that she's endured to get to this point, and she gives it to the demon. She can't afford to fall here, not when she's so close to the goal. Otherwise what was the point? Everything she suffered, all of the pain she has inflicted on others, it will have been meaningless. Her soul is already damned. What's a little bit more sin on the pile?

The call to her ethereal soul mate brings forth a deluge of flame. The miko's entire body is consumed in a sudden pyre of blinding scarlet fire. She screams in fear and agony as the corrupted power consumes her flesh, burning away the weakness and injuries, flooding it with unnatural power.

Such power! Too much. She can't control it!

Throwing her head back to the sky, Junko lets loose an ear-piercing shriek as the god-like energy surges forth and explodes. The detonation is catastrophic. Heat and force ripple outwards from the blazing avatar, shredding the entire platform as if it were made of matchsticks. Fire fills the stadium, roiling outwards in a tidal wave of neon red until it hits the force fields and turns in on itself like a blast furnace.

For several long seconds the platform is obscured in the haze of fire and smoke, a curtain of destruction that leaves the fate of the two trapped within hidden from view.

COMBATSYS: Junko has reached second wind!

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Kenzo            0/-------/-======|>>>>>>>\-------\0            Junko

COMBATSYS: Junko successfully hits Kenzo with Suzaku no Gekido.

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Kenzo            0/-------/-======|>>>>>>>\-------\0            Junko

Kenzo goes into a situation where there are no good decisions. Getting away from the massive pillar isn't going to work. He's not in a position to mitigate or even to try to knock her out of it before the flames can build to completion.

The ninja slowly rises to his feet and wobbles slightly with a smirk on his face.

If Suzaku hates being made a fool out of, the demon will really hate what Kenzo has in mind should Kenzo manage to push through his own exhaustion and physical damage to execute his final technique. But while he is not as able to bounce back from catastrophic damage as Junko is, he's betting that his stamina (based on his readouts) is in a better place than hers and she's going to have difficulty getting away from it.

The chain crackles as electricity travels along its length. With a snap of his wrist the weight travels towards Junko's neck and wraps around it, sending a jolt of electricity with a promise of more violence to follow should he manage that.

COMBATSYS: Kenzo can no longer fight.

[                         \\\\\  <
Junko            0/-------/<<<<<<<|

COMBATSYS: Junko blocks Kenzo's Violent Electrocutioner's Snare.

[                             \  <
Junko            1/-----<</<<<<<<<|

And then Kenzo falls to the ground.

The swirling tornado of scarlet fire clears to reveal a scene of devastation. The arena has been utterly destroyed, reduced to little more than piles of ash and molten pools of iron slag. While the forcefields may have shielded those in the spectator gallery, with no where to expand the explosion's energy was magnified several times over. Scattered patches of still burning wreckage litter the space filling the dome with a cloud of caustic smoke that rises to the top and hovers over the two fighters trapped within like angry storm clouds.

In the aftermath of her fiery outburst, Junko somehow looks better than she did before. Most of the damage she sustained has either vanished or been reduced to little more than superficial injuries. Her hands are hale and whole again, the slashing cuts inflicted by her opponent's deadly blade cauterized.

The miko stands upright at the center of the smoldering ruin, her eyes aflame with fresh vigor. Her back remains turned to Kenzo giving him a good view of the stigmata of her unholy rebirth by flame. The tips of her snow white hair glow like heated strands of iron and beneath that pale curtain draped over her back the tattoo of Suzaku likewise burns with unnatural power. The last of the flame clings to her body like a cloak, fluttering off her shoulders in the swirling winds of the explosion's slowly guttering force. For a moment the scarlet fire seems to take on an unnatural shape, fanning out behind the priestess like a pair of burning wings.

The subtle signs of movement behind her cause Junko's brows to furrow. The sheer force of that blast, with no where to escape to, and her opponent yet stands? She is equal parts impressed and furious. That she had been forced to call upon the demon directly was already enough to leave her in a dangerously unstable state. Never before has she been so desperate as to actually invoke Suzaku's name. There will be repercussions for her weakness, this she knows. But at the moment, she has a stubborn fool to put in their place.

Twisting at the waist slightly, the miko's hand whips up to intercept the chain as it comes snaking towards her one final time. By now she's learned to listen for the tell-tale sounds of the weapon being employed. The clatter of metal links, the whoosh of air, the smell of ozone. She can sense the second attempt to ambush her being launched before the weapon has left his hand for more than few moments.

The chain wraps tightly around her sacrificial limb, entrapping her within the ninja's web. Rather than attempt to wriggle free before the painful electricity can burn her flesh again, the girl instead clenches her fingers around the chain and gives her foe a determined glare. With a snarl, her lip peels back and she hisses in fury and pain but those blazing eyes never leave his face. The raw heat of the god-fire gathers at her call and the metal links begin to glow, orange hot at first, then a blinding white as the weapon starts to melt in her palm. After a few intense seconds, the chain finally snaps leaving the bit wrapped around her arm, its severed end still dripping molten steel.

Every instinct she has urges Junko to go over there and shove that flaming chain down the man's throat and then plug the end into the nearest wall outlet. Let everyone see how he enjoys being on the receiving end! Her glare deepens into a mask of fury, eyes filling with scarlet flame as unnatural malice courses through her like a heady wine.

Junko turns to face the ninja directly, staring at him like a hungry lion eyeing a freshly slain kill to feast on. Overhead the speakers blare excited words as the announcers declare victory, the massive hellish blast and Kenzo's final attempt to even the score having clearly taken his last reserves. But those words fall on deaf ears as the miko stalks forward with ominous intent, apparently keen on re-enacting the end of her last match.

That fight is so close. Also destructive. But for the longest time, Kenzo is not too badly hurt.

At one point when Kenzo clearly has the upper hand, it almost looks like Junko is done for. But she gets back up. Djamila is going through all types of emotions.

Next Junko has the upperhand. In the end, despite Kenzo's best efforts, she stays up, and he doesn't get back up. She has to admit, the fight is fair.

It's now that she is worried she keeps her senses high. She's ready to come down in the ring. Not that what's left can really be called a ring at that point.

And when she understands it's not going to end there, when somewhat her senses tell her, she grabs her staff and runs down there. Doesn't matter who or how many try to stop her. She doesn't care about her safety or much of anything else. She just wants to get that psychopath away from Kenzo. "Leave him alone right now! Or I swear I will take you out of the tournament here and now. You won, that's enough. Take the win, and fuck off!" She also doesn't care about her match with Hawksley. All that matters is to make sure what happened to Coco doesn't happen to Kenzo.

"I've kicked your ass once. I can do it again. SO LEAVE HIM THE FUCK ALONE!" She runs toward her, despite how bad the terrain might be, despite how bad she might be. The wind is swirls around her. At this point, she's ready to hit (or try to) hit the girl with all her might if necessary.

COMBATSYS: Djamila has joined the fight here.

[\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\  < >  /                             ]
Djamila          0/-------/-------|>>>>>>>\>>-----\1            Junko

The ninja lays there as he watches Junko approaches. His gut is telling him that in spite of the fight being over that she is still heading his way with bad intentions.

"The fight's over. Walk away. Or if you still planning to attack me, you might want to keep two things in mind."

He shifts a bit as he pauses. Is he trying to get comfortable or is there another reason?

"First, there's a precedent for removing people from the NFG for attacking a fallen opponent or do I have to remind you of Sayuri? You attack me, you either give me a free ticket to the next round or Djamila a bye. Especially after Djamila telling you and me giving you a warning. Oh, and by the way, my eyewear is streaming this to a drone nearby so there will be evidence elsewhere of knowingly attacking me when I'm down even if you literally try to melt my face off. "

He shifts once more and back to the original position that he was in when he first fell.

"That brings me to my second point. I suppose that if that first isn't enough to discourage you, continuing to attack me will put me on a long list of people who will make it their life's work to remove you so you better kill me the first time."

Mint's been in the front row. It wouldn't be hard to recognize the dark-skinned Marine with the bomber jacket, hiding in plain sight, flanked by -two- gauntlets which make use of every square inch of their seat fabric.

It's just that, well. Djamila and Kenzo had both beaten her to the punch when it comes to reactions. That, and Mint's short stature means that it isn't really even a -thing- when she leaps up out of her seat.

But they're not even the -only- ones rising from their seats. It was easy to ignore the two Fulgore units positioned on either side of the stadium seating. They seemed like props, really -- motionless suits of armor, with only minimal, low-key lighting installed. But as soon as the battle droids detected that the contest had been officially resolved, it has become clear that a low profile is counterproductive to their primary objective.

The Ultratech units rise slightly. Hydraulics whine, pistons hiss. But those crimson eyes are perhaps the most noticeable -- laser lights that cast a crimson light on every speck of dust or haze in their path as they scan through the crowd.

The time from "offline" to "online" is roughly 1.2 seconds.
Plasma blades unfurl from their forearms.
And then the six-foot-six battleframes *SURGE* forward.
The entire arena shudders from their synchronized charge.

In mere moments, the Fulgore units' charging brings them to a halt just outside two of the ring's four corners. Concrete cracks, straining under the weight of the heavy Ultratech battleframes. Mechanical groaning and hissing can be heard as the heavily-armored warriors bring themr plasma blades to bear in an uncomfortably aggressive stance. If it comes to it -- the remaining ropes will be less useful against their blades than melted butter.

But -- perhaps of most notice to Junko may be the heat signature. A very -large- heat signature, as each warrior project and focus a great deal of plasma from their chest receptacles: a temperature can best be expressed in a four-figure number.

Their cybernetic voices will boom out in perfect unison, adding the weight of Ultratech threat to the two Team Metal fighters -- in stereo where available.


Mint sucks in her breath through clenched teeth. She calmly lifts her duly licensed weapons of war from their seats... and starts pacing her way forward.

The Marine reluctantly adds her own strained voice to the chaos. She has a feeling Junko -- or this 'Suzaku' or whatever she just invoked -- might not be all that concerned about the chances of fighting again.

She clears her throat. Loudly.

"The closest exit is -behind- you, Daidoji-san. Turn around, walk away and no one gets hurt."

Junko starts walking towards her fallen opponent. That's all it takes to make a whole lot of things happen at once. Were she the sort of person to take pleasure in being feared the girl would no doubt be pleased by how quick the reaction is.

Abigail had claimed that the NFG organizers had benefited from her destructive rampage and, in fact, been responsible for bringing a chaotic monster such as herself into the tournament with that express purpose. And perhaps he was right. But whatever ratings boost the venue might have enjoyed from one such display of shocking violence, it's clear that enough of a stink was raised about the ordeal that measures had been put in place to prevent a repeat performance. The blame for a single incident could be laid at the feet of the miko's poor temper. Allowing it to happen again would just be negligence.

The girl comes to a slow stop as a familiar voice calls out in challenge. Her eyes narrow as they shift from the fallen engineer to the figure wildly rushing to intercept her approach. The woman's name escapes her memory but she remembers its owner. Her first official match in this ridiculous contest and a humiliating defeat. But that seems like so long ago it might as well have been years.

So much has happened since then, so many twists and turns in the drama of her cursed existence. Would the outcome of their clash be the same now as it was before? The angry woman seems to think so. But anger, more often than not, clouds the judgement. Most people don't have the same sort of relationship with anger that she does. It isn't just an emotion for the priestess, it is a font of power, a tangible force to be drawn upon and wielded. Such is the boon of being soul-bound to a god of fury.

Junko says nothing as the dancer rushes at her. Her answer is given in the silent glare that she fixes upon the other woman, scarlet eyes literally burning with malice and hate. At her side freshly healed fingers curl into tight fists, her body language expressing defiance and challenge to the person who would stand in her way.

Her would-be victim speaks up for himself, drawing her gaze back his way. He lays out all the flaws inherent to any plan that involves continuing to harm him in a cold and logical manner. They're all good points and if she were anyone other than the physical vessel of a perpetually pissed off kami then she probably would be of the mind to listen. The dangerously glowing sigils on her ofuda are a clear indication that the miko is not entirely in full control of herself, however.

Junko's eyebrows lift as she receives advice that she ought to make sure she finishes the job properly. A rather strange thing to say to someone with clear intent to do you harm. Bravado, perhaps, or just a poorly thought out choice of words. Either way, she looks more than happy to take him up on that suggestion.

But, as she lifts her foot to take another menacing step forward, something which does give her pause steps into the fray. The miko's expression shifts from barely restrained fury to one of genuine surprise as the Fulgore units spring to life from their mechanical slumber. Such machinery had gone completely unnoticed by the blind teenager in its dormant state. Now, however, she likely sees them in far more terrifying clarity than anyone else.

The girl's eyes flick from war bot to war bot as plasma blades and blaster cannons come online. She visibly swallows and takes a step back, the supernatural hatred bleeding from her suddenly weary body as the demon's influence is overwhelmed by unexpected fear.

Another voice rings out, one she is unfamiliar with. The girl turns to look at Mint for a long couple of seconds, uncertainty in her soot-smeared face. Her gaze shifts back to the deadly robotic sentries and then she nods shakily.


For a moment it looks like she plans to say something. An apology dances on the tip of her tongue but it dies there quickly. There's no point. Monsters don't apologize. No one would believe her any more. She's not even sure she -is- actually sorry. Maybe it's the lingering effects of being electrocuted or the traces of unnatural power that have yet to fade but she's having trouble understanding her own thoughts.

"Yeah... okay..."

The girl slowly backs away, keeping her wary gaze on the two Fulgore units for the first few steps to make sure they aren't going to come after her. Then she turns and hurries towards the indicated direction, one hand extended in front of her to feel for the door. When she finds it, she vanishes much the same as she had arrived, silently escaping into the dark halls of the auditorium to go who knows where.

Kenzo speaks also. At least he's fine enough to talk, and that makes her feel better. Though she's not in the mood for this kind of talk, but it's not for her anyway, so it works out.

Mint is also there for the rescue with the fulgore units. That seems to really do the trick. There will not be a fight today.

If she manages to beat Hawksley later on, then there will be that fight. If she has her way, she will win. Of course, she knows Hawksley is no push though.

While the girl backs away and hurries to leave. Djamila raises her staff. Part of her really wants to throw it at the girl. But she holds it in. She doesn't need to do a cheap shot. Kenzo is fine. That's what matters.

In the end, she brings her staff back down with her arm and goes to Kenzo. "Are you ok, babe? I am sorry I may have acted too quickly but, I wasn't going to risk you in any way. I would never forgive myself."

She also gives a nod and a smile to Mint. If she gets to talk to her, she will probably told she shouldn't have to rush in like that. She wouldn't agree, but no, she will never know. She's just happy things are ending on a positive note, even if Kenzo ended up not winning.

She has to say. "You did a great match. I am proud of you." She extends a hand to help him up if he wants it.

Now that Junko has backed off, Kenzo is not inclined to give her a chance to change her mind. He was about to set off his smoke bomb which was the reason why he had been moving around. What stops him though is Djamila talking to him.

"Thanks. While I appreciate it, I'd rather leave under my own power. We'll talk when we're both home."

With that, Kenzo sets off his smoke bomb, filling the battle torn ring with smoke. When it finally clears, Kenzo is no longer there.

Ever since she'd first set foot inside the Ultratech HQ, Mint was ... not happy about the existence of the Fulgore units within EVOLVE space. She was less happy to know that they'd be following the team around wherever they'd went.

But... as time went on, she became thankful for the security presence, appreciative for the intimidation factor they could provide. It was such that -- even when ARIA provided the option to Mint to assume personal escort duty in -place- of the Fulgore units... she simply opted to keep that information close to her chest.

After the incident with Djamila, the corporal was unwilling to take chances.

Still. The audience is starting to panic -- as Mint isn't exactly in uniform here. And the Fulgore units don't look to be -hers-, exactly.

"Thanks for your sportsmanship in this matter, Daidoji-san. And... congratulations on your success."

Mint looks over to Djamila and Kenzo, just in time to see Kenzo smoke-bomb himself away. Nodding -- she turns back to the Fulgore unit on her right.

"Thanks, guys, but I don't think we'll be needing those today."

The Fulgore units both continue to stare forward, remaining unconvinced until Junko leaves the area. Only then do the killer death machines power down their aggressive posture.

Log created on 10:04:47 11/21/2023 by Kenzo, and last modified on 18:32:45 11/23/2023.